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Lee Ginsburg is an award-winning Realtor with 30 years experience in Peninsula residential real estate. With the utmost attention to detail, Lee delivers expert marketing, negotiating, and management of all financial matters. With a strong commitment to honesty, fairness and hard work, Lee has successfully helped first time home buyers, move up buyers and investors.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

An Open Letter to Potential Home Buyers and Fence Sitters

Dear Home Buyer and Fence Sitter,

The window of opportunity is closing. Let me explain my thoughts. Prices in the Bay Area are already inching up, same with interest rates. The time to receive the Federal Tax Credit of $8000 or $6500 is rapidly approaching. (Must be in contract by April 30, 2010) FHA is talking about increasing the minimum required down payment and or increasing the cost of required mortgage insurance.


You can purchase a home today and your costs will be fixed for the next 30 years. What else can you buy and maintain the same cost for the next 30 years? Rents will continually go up. You are at the Landlords mercy. It is time to get off the fence. The first step is to get pre-approved. This will tell you what the bank will loan you. There are many loan programs out there. I could refer you to someone if you would like. The pre-approval process is easy, is no cost and with no obligation. If you don’t do it now you will never know.

You do not need a large down payment. You can purchase a home with only 3.5%. Yes you need mortgage insurance. I don’t like mortgage insurance but if that is the only way to own a home, then go for it. Mortgage insurance will go away once you have 20% equity. Economists think values will increase substantially in the next 3-5 years and that will more than make up for the mortgage insurance. Some people tell me they want to save for a larger down payment. That bothers me because from my experience most people cannot save as much as prices increase.

Some people tell me they do not like the home they qualify for so they want to wait until their income increases to get qualified for a larger home. My response is; your first home is not necessarily your dream home. Most Americans move every 7 years. Get into something now. Hold it for a few years, make some money and then move into your dream home. Read my blog http://www.pruvoices.com/2009/09/is-a-condo-the-right-choice/

Also, mortgage insurance, mortgage interest and property tax are all deductible on your income tax. That will save you approximately 20-30% of the payments. Check with your tax preparer for your individual situation.


I am concerned that some people whom do not take advantage today’s market may never be able to purchase a home again. They may not qualify if rates go up or may not qualify for what they want if prices go up. If interest rates increase just 1% you will need an annual income increase of $8000 to qualify for a $500,000 home. If that $500,000 home increases just 5% and interest rates remain the same you will need an income increase of $3600.

I believe home ownership is the first step to financial freedom. It is forced savings. You build up equity. If you look at most of the wealthy people in this country and around the world real estate is the asset that attributed to their wealth. Home ownership may not be for you but if you don’t look into it you will never know. Today’s market with both record low interest rates and low prices at the same time is quite unusual. They generally work in opposites. This is a blue moon, once in a lifetime opportunity. If you want to take advantage of today’s opportunity please call me for a free consultation to discuss your options, the market, and the process. I would love to help you so please contact me lee@leesellsmore.com or your favorite Realtor now. Don’t put it off any longer.